Chennai: P Vinodhini of Thethagudi near Vedaranyam, a post-graduate, is climbing 40 coconut trees every day with an equipment designed by Coconut Development Board, Kochi. She earns Rs. 1,600 a day by charging Rs 40 a tree thanks to M S Swaminathan Research Foundation and the board.
“I used to climb only 15 trees a day and earned Rs 600 a day. But now I could climb 40 trees a day with the help of the tree climbing equipment. It is easy to climb the tree with this unit. Moreover, the board has extended the insurance cover to the tune of Rs 200,000. I need not pay any premium,” said Vinodhini.
The MSSR Foundation had trained 120 persons including 18 women from Thethagudi, Kariyapattinam and Thanikottakam under a programme to retaining youth in agriculture, launched by the Ministry of Agriculture. V Selvam, Director, Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project, MSSRF, said the aim was to focus on coconut plantation as well as harvesting.
None is willing to climb coconut tree. However, the equipment has come as a boon to youths in rural areas as they could earn Rs 30,000 a month. Response from the women was notable since 18 women have undergone training for six days, organised by the MSSRF. The participants were taught on raising coconut plants, harvesting as well as marketing strategy.